The Wild Magnolias

Life Is a Carnival

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The Wild Magnolias are one of the 20 or so tribes of "Mardi Gras Indians" (social clubs) that swarm the streets on Mardi Gras Day in African-American neighborhoods searching for other tribes so that they can show off their incredibly spectacular suits. These suits are sometimes worked on for more than a year, consisting of feathers, plumes, sequins, rhinestones and more. This disc is probably the finest example of New Orleans funk and roll that has crossed this changer in many years. Other purveyors of this genre will not be insulted as they are probably represented on this disc. Represented here, and playing some of this genre's most exciting music, are members of the Neville Brothers, the Meters, Dr. John, Davell Crawford, Wardell Quezerque and many more. Suffice it to say, this is a summit meeting of musicians organized by "The Big Chiefs" to work together and display what they are about, rather than stay separate and compete. The Wild Magnolias are led by Big Chief Bo Dollis, and with this disc (it has been recorded for the second time in 25 years), its traditional call and response street chants fused with the incendiary R&B indigenous to the area are blended further with the funk of the Brass Band. This disc successfully fuses the different styles into one of the most infectious and danceable discs of the late '90s. Aside from the luminaries of the New Orleans music scene listed above, Robbie Robertson, Bruce Hornsby, Rockin' Dopsie Jr., June Yamagishi, Marva Wright and so many more are also thrown into the fray. What comes out of the kettle for your aural pleasure is a stew that is considerably superior to the individual pieces of the mixture, and that is what this disc is all about: the drawing together of the diverse parts into a harmonious whole.

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